His mother introduced him to starfish and abalone, and how to pry them away from the rocks with a hunting knife, which he wasn't allowed to touch. And here were hermit crabs and there were fiddler crabs and sea anemones ("If you put a finger in there, they will suck it in and it will never come out" "Could you get it out?" "I could. But it would be very dangerous.") and sea urchins, the last of which he was allowed to take home if the spines were falling out, for that meant they were dead.
He grew up believing that the world was a very dangerous place that invited his mother's rescue. And between the ages of six and ten, he touched hermit crabs, put his finger in sea anemones, removed living urchins from their beds, and even stole the hunting knife from its hiding place in the broom closet.
And I figured out how to use the benshi. That's something which has wanted to be in a story since 1984.